Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Holiday Planning Pays off; How to Ensure a Perfect Break

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Holiday Planning Pays off; How to Ensure a Perfect Break

Article excerpt

Byline: Mariel Dawson

ESCAPE work and everyday life, pack the suitcases and set off on a well-deserved holiday over the Christmas break. For many people, this sounds like a dream come true but just the thought of the associated costs and planning involved can cause nightmares.

Those looking to escape on a fun getaway this festive season may find speaking to a specialised travel consultant useful, especially when you want help to plan the ultimate holiday on a budget.

Escape Travel spokeswoman Sally Wiseman said the top overseas destinations this year included Los Angeles and New York.

"Airfares are more affordable and a strong Aussie dollar means you can stretch your budget further," Ms Wiseman said.

She said other great international options included a drive holiday in New Zealand, skiing in Japan or a white Christmas in Europe.

Tewantin-based travel company BYO Kids owner Leah Squire said school holidays were a great way for families to spend quality time together. "Experiencing something that's totally different from day-to-day life, experiencing new places, new things, different cultures, lifestyles, history, focusing on spending time together as a family is what it's all about," Ms Squire said.

She said one of the most popular overseas family destinations was Fiji because it was affordable and extremely family-friendly.

"It's a short flight from anywhere on the east coast of Australia and its resorts really cater well for children," Ms Squire said.

If families are looking to holiday a little closer to home, Ms Squires said the most popular domestic destinations included the Whitsundays and Hamilton Island, The Hunter Valley and the Gold Coast.

"The Gold Coast is always a favourite because of its theme parks," Ms Squires said.

Holiday parks, which are located all over the country, can also provide a fun, inexpensive family escape. …

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